Not much today, except to focus on two things for which I am grateful.
First, I filled my tank yesterday--for $25. Gas dropped to $1.89 at my favorite station. It's still at $2.04 at most places around here. Nerd that I am, I figured out that the gas price differential is enough to offset the further drive to this station. On the way to my favorite place, there's a former gas station that went out of business before my three year old was born. The old prices are still up there, with regular starting at $1.67.
I remember that it was before the little one was born because his birth came at the time of a gas price spike. He was a week late, and as my husband and I drove to the hospital for the checkup that became my induction, I noted that gas at the station we passed on the way was at $2.65, a good price for that month, with a wry smile as we passed the $1.67 sign too.
While my second son was born, Hurricane Katrina happened. (Nothing like thinking of women laboring in hellish conditions to make you feel like a complete wuss.) But when we came home, it was hard to believe it was only three days later; gas at the station was now $3.65.
It kept climbing from there, and eventually settled back down, of course. And even then, I took real pride in price hunting, and rarely paid over $3/gallon for gas. Of course, this year, it spiked to around $4/gallon and the hits couldn't be avoided. I was frustrated; while milk and coke and moisturizer were way, way more than $4/gallon, I felt like if I were paying that much for gas, I wanted at least $1 of that to be a tax for something useful, like rebuilding social security, or, you know, roads. Instead, I was making the richest company and richest country in the history of the world even richer, and that didn't feel good at all.
I never thought I'd see sub-$2 gas again. And now that it's here, I am thankful. I can only imagine how thankful people are who drive more than I do, or are paid less than I am. And while I still feel the same about a gas tax, and pray that this doesn't make people forget about hybrids and other alternative fuel technologies, I'm going to enjoy this little respite where, for the first time in a long time, that defunct sign just doesn't look quite as crazy.
I know. I'm a mom and a wife and I have a house with a mortgage that's current and a family with an all out feast coming up later today and I'm grateful for gas prices?! How...cold.
Of course I'm grateful for my kids. I loved Emily's post at Mothers of Brothers, where she wrote about being grateful for the luxury of having small things to gripe about, and feel the same way. The boys know I'm thankful for them (I tell them every night as part of our good-night ritual). And my husband ought to know I'm grateful for him too. But today is his birthday, and it makes me extra grateful for the amazing opportunity I had: to spend another year of his life with him.
For the two of you who may not know, I was in love with my husband for ten years before we got engaged. I noticed him by the lockers one day when I was a sophomore and he was a junior and thought he was totally cute. I joined the newspaper to be near him. (Of course, we never really talked at all. I couldn't breathe when he was near me, let alone form sentences.) After many letters (remember them?) back and forth when he was at college, we became friends. And a mere seven years after that, we got engaged.
There was no end to my joy. I had studied everything about him before he knew how to spell my name. I knew in my heart I could never get married until he was married because I didn't think I could truly commit to someone else if there were even a tiny hope of his availability.
Today, he still makes me swoon. Watching him do anything with the kids takes my breath away. Even a trip to the recycling center becomes a multi-modal learning opportunity and chance for fun. He is the only one the dog will come to. He thinks I'm crazy when I tell him things like that I still wake up in the middle of the night just to look at him and marvel that we are together.
Not everyone gets this. Not everyone gets this for as long as we have had. He is still my dream come true, but now in ways even bigger and better than I could have dreamed--and I have quite an imagination.
For who he is, and for being lucky enough to be his wife, and getting to spend every day with one of my favorite people in the world, I am thankful. Happy birthday, honey. (If you ever read this!)